collect (one's) wits

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collect (one's) wits

To try to calm oneself and think clearly and rationally. Take a moment to collect your wits, then tell us how the accident happened.
See also: collect, wit

collect your wits

or

gather your wits

LITERARY
If you collect your wits or gather your wits, you make an effort to control yourself and become calm again, after a frightening or shocking experience. I took a deep breath and tried to gather my wits. The news was so shocking that I was scarcely able to take it in. Sinking into a leather armchair, I attempted to collect my wits and decide what on earth I was going to tell Lucy.
See also: collect, wit

collect/gather your ˈwits

try to become calm and think clearly: After such a shock I found it difficult to gather my wits.
See also: collect, gather, wit
References in classic literature ?
He might grab that wad of bills and be out of sight in the darkness before the other could collect his wits.
All he wanted was a place to rest, a meal to eat and some time to collect his wits about him and return to claim what was rightfully his.
He quickly picked-up the fallen knife, got back into his car and drove away, pulling over around the corner to collect his wits -- and throw-up.
He must now battle enemies old and new, and solve some perplexing puzzles in order to collect his wits and rejoin the real world.